About this topic

Epistemic contextualism is a semantic thesis about the meaning of the word "knows" and its cognates. Invariantism, which is the more traditional view, holds that the truth or falsity of sentences like "Mary knows that the bank is open on Saturday" does not shift from context to context. Contextualists, however, argue that such a sentence can be true in one context but not another. A typical model here is the case of indexical expressions, like "I" or "here." My utterance of "I am President" can be false while Obama's is true. Some contextualists have argued that contextualism solves the problem of skepticism: e.g. "I know I have hands" is true out on the street but false in the philosophy classroom, where the context raises the standards for knowledge. Others have claimed that contextualism yields the best explanation for why our ordinary usage of "knows" varies with what is at stake for us or which error-possibilities we have in mind. Attempting to capture some of the same phenomena as contextualism, various forms of invariantism have been developed. These include subject-sensitive invariantism, moderate and skeptical pragmatic invariantism and psychological error theories. According to subject-sensitive invariantism, “knows” invariably expresses the knowledge relation. The seeming sensitivity of "knows" arises from the supposed fact that this relation is sensitive to non-epistemic features of the subject (such as what is at stake for her or which error-possibilities are salient in her conversational context). According to moderate and skeptical pragmatic invariantism, the variability of “knows” should be attributed not to semantic but to pragmatic factors (such as implicatures). Moderate pragmatic invariantists hold that, semantically, “knows” invariably expresses an epistemic relation we tend to satisfy in many ordinary situations. Skeptical pragmatic invariantists hold that, semantically, “knows” invariably expresses an epistemic relation that is rarely if ever satisfied. According to psychological error theories, the variability of “knows” should be explained neither semantically nor pragmatically but by appeal to psychological biases and similar aspects of the psychology of knowledge ascribing subjects. 

Key works

Relevant alternatives theories (e.g. Dretske 1970) may be seen as a forerunner of contextualism. Explicitly contextualist theories, however, begin primarily with Cohen 1986, DeRose 1992, and Lewis 1996. Subject-sensitive invariantism begins with Fantl & McGrath 2002, Hawthorne 2003, and Stanley 2005. Rysiew 2001 is an early defense of moderate pragmatic invariantism. Skeptical pragmatic invariantism is prominently defended in Davis 2007. Psychological error theories begin with Hawthorne 2003, where the mechanism primarily invoked is the so-called "availability heuristic." The view is forcefully criticized in Nagel 2010. More elaborate psychological error theories are defended in Nagel 2008 and Nagel 2010. The data motivating contextualism have also been discussed in experimental philosophy. Schaffer & Knobe 2012 discuss a range of studies.

Introductions The free encyclopedia entries by Rysiew 2007 and Black 2003 provide excellent introductions to contextualism. Buckwalter 2012 provides an overview of relevant empirical literature.
Related categories

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  1. Epistemic Contextualism, Semantic Blindness and Content Unawareness.André J. Abath - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (3):593 - 597.
    It is held by many philosophers that it is a consequence of epistemic contextualism that speakers are typically semantically blind, that is, typically unaware of the propositions semantically expressed by knowledge attributions. In his ?Contextualism, Invariantism and Semantic Blindness? (this journal, 2009), Martin Montminy argues that semantic blindness is widespread in language, and not restricted to knowledge attributions, so it should not be considered problematic. I will argue that Montminy might be right about this, but that contextualists still face a (...)
  2. Contextualism and Fallibility: Pragmatic Encroachment, Possibility, and Strength of Epistemic Position.Jonathan E. Adler - 2012 - Synthese 188 (2):247-272.
    A critique of conversational epistemic contextualism focusing initially on why pragmatic encroachment for knowledge is to be avoided. The data for pragmatic encroachment by way of greater costs of error and the complementary means to raise standards of introducing counter-possibilities are argued to be accountable for by prudence, fallibility and pragmatics. This theme is sharpened by a contrast in recommendations: holding a number of factors constant, when allegedly higher standards for knowing hold, invariantists still recommend assertion (action), while contextualists do (...)
  3. Pragmatic Encroachment, Methods and Contextualism.Jonathan E. Adler - 2012 - Analysis 72 (3):526-534.
    Defence of conditions to withdraw an assertion that require evidence or epistemic reasons that the assertion is not true or warranted. (Adler, J. 2006. Withdrawal and contextualism. Analysis 66: 280–85) The defence replies to the claim that better methods justify withdrawal without meeting that requirement and without pragmatic encroachment.
  4. Withdrawal and Contextualism.Jonathan E. Adler - 2006 - Analysis 66 (4):280–285.
  5. Invariantism, Skepticism, and Two Senses of Pragmatism.Scott Aikin - 2010 - Southwest Philosophy Review 26 (2):5-7.
  6. Salience and Epistemic Egocentrism: An Empirical Study.Joshua Alexander, Chad Gonnerman & John Waterman - 2014 - In James Beebe (ed.), Advances in Experimental Epistemology. Continuum. pp. 97-117.
    Jennifer Nagel (2010) has recently proposed a fascinating account of the decreased tendency to attribute knowledge in conversational contexts in which unrealized possibilities of error have been mentioned. Her account appeals to epistemic egocentrism, or what is sometimes called the curse of knowledge, an egocentric bias to attribute our own mental states to other people (and sometimes our own future and past selves). Our aim in this paper is to investigate the empirical merits of Nagel’s hypothesis about the psychology involved (...)
  7. Contextualism Without Pragmatic Encroachment.B. Armour-Garb - 2011 - Analysis 71 (4):667-676.
    In ‘Withdrawal and contextualism’, Jonathan Adler (2006) provides an argument which, if successful, undermines what contextualists take to be prime support for their view. Given the popularity of contextualist (and related) positions in epistemology, together with the fact that, thus far, no one has challenged Adler's argument, a critical assessment therefore presses. In this article, after briefly reviewing Adler's argument, I show that it fails. My reason for taking his argument to fail will then provide novel support for contextualism, one (...)
  8. 16-17 April 2005.Jay David Atlas - unknown
    The lecture that we have heard consists of excerpts from Professor Stanley’s forthcoming book Knowledge and Interest, and it consists of two parts, a messy part and a clean part; the messy part is from the book’s introduction, which describes the “central data that is at issue in this debate,” and the clean part is from Chapter 7, which presents an interesting criticism of a semantical theory of knowledge-attribution sentences that makes their truth-conditions relative to non-time-world circumstances of evaluation, e.g. (...)
  9. Applying Pragmatics to Epistemology.Kent Bach - 2008 - Philosophical Issues 18 (1):68-88.
    This paper offers a smattering of applications of pragmatics to epistemology. In most cases they concern recent epistemological claims that depend for their plausibility on mistaking something pragmatic for something semantic. After giving my formulation of the semantic/pragmatic distinction and explaining how seemingly semantic intuitions can be responsive to pragmatic factors, I take up the following topics: 1. Classic Examples of Confusing Meaning and Use 2. Pragmatic Implications of Hedging or Intensifying an Assertion 3. Belief Attributions 4. Knowledge-wh 5. The (...)
  10. Knowledge in and Out of Context.Kent Bach - 2007 - In Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O.’Rourke & Harry S. Silverstein (eds.), Knowledge and Skepticism. MIT Press. pp. 105--36.
    In this chapter, the author offers another explanation of the variation in contents, which is explained by contextualism as being related to a variation in standards. The author’s explanation posits that the contents of knowledge attributions are invariant. The variation lies in what knowledge attributions we are willing to make or accept. Although not easy to acknowledge, what contextualism counts as knowledge varies with the context in which it is attributed. A new rival to contextualism, known as Subject-Sensitive Invariantism, goes (...)
  11. Jason Stanley, Knowledge and Practical Interests.T. Basboll - 2007 - Philosophy in Review 27 (3):225.
  12. Epistemic Contextualism: A Defense.Peter Baumann - 2016 - New York: Oxford University Press UK.
    Peter Baumann develops and defends a distinctive version of epistemic contextualism, the view that the truth conditions or the meaning of knowledge attributions of the form "S knows that p" can vary with the context of the attributor. The first part of the book examines arguments for contextualism and develops Baumann's version. It begins by dealing with the argument from cases and ordinary usage, and then addresses "theoretical" arguments, from reliability and from luck. The second part of the book discusses (...)
  13. Knowledge Across Contexts. A Problem for Subject-Sensitive Invariantism.Peter Baumann - 2016 - Dialogue 55 (2):363-380.
    The possibility of knowledge attributions across contexts (where attributor and subject find themselves in different epistemic contexts) can create serious problems for certain views of knowledge. Amongst such views is subject—sensitive invariantism—the view that knowledge is determined not only by epistemic factors (belief, truth, evidence, etc.) but also by non—epistemic factors (practical interests, etc.). I argue that subject—sensitive invariantism either runs into a contradiction or has to make very implausible assumptions. The problem has been very much neglected but is so (...)
  14. A Contradiction for Contextualism?Peter Baumann - 2014 - In Franck Lihoreau & Manuel Rebuschi (eds.), Epistemology, Context, and Formalism. Springer. pp. 49-57.
    This discusses a problem for epistemic contextualism having to do with the possibility of evaluating knowledge attributions made in other contexts.
  15. WAMs: Why Worry?Peter Baumann - 2011 - Philosophical Papers 40 (2):155 - 177.
    Abstract One of the most popular objections against epistemic contextualism is the so-called ?warranted assertability? objection. The objection is based on the possibility of a ?warranted assertability manoeuvre?, also known as a WAM. I argue here that WAMs are of very limited scope and importance. An important class of cases cannot be dealt with by WAMs. No analogue of WAMs is available for these cases. One should thus not take WAMs too seriously in the debate about epistemic contextualism.
  16. Experimental Epistemology.James Beebe - 2012 - In Andrew Cullison (ed.), The Continuum Companion to Epistemology. Continuum. pp. 248-269.
    An overview of the main areas of epistemological debate to which experimental philosophers have been contributing and the larger, philosophical challenges these contributions have raised.
  17. Subject Sensitive Invariantism: In Memoriam.Martijn Blaauw - 2008 - Philosophical Quarterly 58 (231):318–325.
    Subject sensitive invariantism is the view that whether a subject knows depends on what is at stake for that subject: the truth-value of a knowledge-attribution is sensitive to the subject's practical interests. I argue that subject sensitive invariantism cannot accept a very plausible principle for memory to transmit knowledge. I argue, furthermore, that semantic contextualism and contrastivism can accept this plausible principle for memory to transmit knowledge. I conclude that semantic contextualism and contrastivism are in a dialectical position better than (...)
  18. Challenging Contextualism.Martijn Blaauw - 2005 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 69 (1):127-146.
    In order to explain such puzzling cases as the Bank Case and the Airport Case, semantic contextualists defend two theses. First, that the truth-conditions of knowledge sentences fluctuate in accordance with features of the conversational context. Second, that this fluctuation can be explained by the fact that 'knows' is an indexical. In this paper, I challenge both theses. In particular, I argue (i) that it isn't obvious that 'knows' is an indexical at all, and (ii) that contrastivism can do the (...)
  19. WAMming Away at Contextualism.Martijn Blaauw - 2003 - SATS 4 (1):88-97.
    Contextualism is a quite popular research program nowadays. In essence, the contextualist holds that the truth conditions of knowledge attributing and of knowledge denying sentences vary in accordance with the context in which the sentences are uttered. This theory is positively motivated by its capability of best explaining certain intuitions we have about knowledge attributions and knowledge denials. In this paper, I will argue that this positive motivation isn't as compelling as the contextualists think it to be. This I will (...)
  20. Defending a Sensitive Neo-Moorean Invariantism.Tim Black - 2008 - In Vincent Hendricks & Duncan Pritchard (eds.), New Waves in Epistemology. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 8--27.
    I defend a sensitive neo-Moorean invariantism, an epistemological account with the following characteristic features: (a) it reserves a place for a sensitivity condition on knowledge, according to which, very roughly, S’s belief that p counts as knowledge only if S wouldn’t believe that p if p were false; (b) it maintains that the standards for knowledge are comparatively low; and (c) it maintains that the standards for knowledge are invariant (i.e., that they vary neither with the linguistic context of the (...)
  21. A Warranted-Assertability Defense of a Moorean Response to Skepticism.Tim Black - 2008 - Acta Analytica 23 (3):187-205.
    According to a Moorean response to skepticism, the standards for knowledge are invariantly comparatively low, and we can know across contexts all that we ordinarily take ourselves to know. It is incumbent upon the Moorean to defend his position by explaining how, in contexts in which S seems to lack knowledge, S can nevertheless have knowledge. The explanation proposed here relies on a warranted-assertability maneuver: Because we are warranted in asserting that S doesn’t know that p, it can seem that (...)
  22. Classic Invariantism, Relevance and Warranted Assertability Manœvres.Tim Black - 2005 - Philosophical Quarterly 55 (219):328–336.
    Jessica Brown effectively contends that Keith DeRose’s latest argument for contextualism fails to rule out contextualism’s chief rival, namely, classic invariantism. Still, even if her position has not been ruled out, the classic invariantist must offer considerations in favor of her position if she is to convince us that it is superior to contextualism. Brown defends classic invariantism with a warranted assertability maneuver that utilizes a linguistic pragmatic principle of relevance. I argue, however, that this maneuver is not as effective (...)
  23. Contextualism in Epistemology.Tim Black - 2003 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  24. Avoiding the Dogmatic Commitments of Contextualism.Tim Black & Peter Murphy - 2005 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 69 (1):165-182.
    Epistemological contextualists maintain that the truth-conditions of sentences of the form 'S knows that P' vary according to the context in which they're uttered, where this variation is due to the semantics of 'knows'. Among the linguistic data that have been offered in support of contextualism are several everyday cases. We argue that these cases fail to support contextualism and that they instead support epistemological invariantism—the thesis that the truth-conditions of 'S knows that P' do not vary according to the (...)
  25. An Invalid Argument for Contextualism.Thomas A. Blackson - 2004 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (2):344–345.
  26. Knowledge and Presuppositions.Michael Blome-Tillmann - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
    Knowledge and Presuppositions develops a novel account of epistemic contextualism based on the idea that pragmatic presuppositions play a central role in the semantics of knowledge attributions. According to Blome-Tillmann, knowledge attributions are sensitive to what is pragmatically presupposed at the context of ascription. The resulting theory--Presuppositional Epistemic Contextualism (PEC)--is simple and straightforward, yet powerful enough to have far-reaching and important consequences for a variety of hotly debated issues in epistemology and philosophy of language. -/- In this book, Blome-Tillmann first (...)
  27. Knowledge and Implicatures.Michael Blome-Tillmann - 2013 - Synthese 190 (18):4293-4319.
    In recent work on the semantics of ‘knowledge’-attributions, a variety of accounts have been proposed that aim to explain the data about speaker intuitions in familiar cases such as DeRose’s Bank Case or Cohen’s Airport Case by means of pragmatic mechanisms, notably Gricean implicatures. This paper argues that pragmatic explanations of the data regarding ‘knowledge’-attributions are unsuccessful and concludes that in explaining those data we have to resort to accounts that (a) take those data at their semantic face value (Epistemic (...)
  28. Presuppositional Epistemic Contextualism and the Problem of Known Presuppositions.Michael Blome-Tillmann - 2012 - In Jessica Brown & Mikkel Gerken (eds.), Knowledge Ascriptions. Oxford University Press. pp. 104-119.
    In this chapter, I produce counterexamples to Presuppositional Epistemic Contextualism (PEC), a view about the semantics of ‘knowledge’-ascriptions that I have argued for elsewhere. According to PEC, the semantic content of the predicate ‘know’ at a context C is partly determined by the speakers’ pragmatic presuppositions at C. The problem for the view that I shall be concerned with here arises from the fact that pragmatic presuppositions are sometimes known to be true by the speakers who make them: hence the (...)
  29. Contextualism, Safety and Epistemic Relevance.Michael Blome-Tillmann - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 143 (3):383-394.
    The paper discusses approaches to Epistemic Contextualism that model the satisfaction of the predicate ‘know’ in a given context C in terms of the notion of belief/fact-matching throughout a contextually specified similarity sphere of worlds that is centred on actuality. The paper offers three counterexamples to approaches of this type and argues that they lead to insurmountable difficulties. I conclude that what contextualists (and Subject-Sensitive Invariantists) have traditionally called the ‘epistemic standards’ of a given context C cannot be explicated in (...)
  30. Contextualism, Subject-Sensitive Invariantism, and the Interaction of ‘Knowledge’-Ascriptions with Modal and Temporal Operators.Michael Blome-Tillmann - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (2):315-331.
    Jason Stanley has argued recently that Epistemic Contextualism (EC) and Subject-Sensitive Invariantism (SSI) are explanatorily on a par with regard to certain data arising from modal and temporal embeddings of 'knowledge'-ascriptions. This paper argues against Stanley that EC has a clear advantage over SSI in the discussed field and introduces a new type of linguistic datum strongly suggesting the falsity of SSI.
  31. Knowledge and Presuppositions.Michael Blome-Tillmann - 2009 - Mind 118 (470):241 - 294.
    The paper explicates a new way to model the context-sensitivity of 'knows', namely a way that suggests a close connection between the content of 'knows' in a context C and what is pragmatically presupposed in C. After explicating my new approach in the first half of the paper and arguing that it is explanatorily superior to standard accounts of epistemic contextualism, the paper points, in its second half, to some interesting new features of the emerging account, such as its compatibility (...)
  32. The Indexicality of 'Knowledge'.Michael Blome-Tillmann - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 138 (1):29 - 53.
    Epistemic contextualism—the view that the content of the predicate ‘know’ can change with the context of utterance—has fallen into considerable disrepute recently. Many theorists have raised doubts as to whether ‘know’ is context-sensitive, typically basing their arguments on data suggesting that ‘know’ behaves semantically and syntactically in a way quite different from recognised indexicals such as ‘I’ and ‘here’ or ‘flat’ and ‘empty’. This paper takes a closer look at three pertinent objections of this kind, viz. at what I call (...)
  33. The Myth of Knowledge.Laurence BonJour - 2010 - Philosophical Perspectives 24 (1):57-83.
  34. Stanley on the Knowledge-Relation.Steffen Borge - 2008 - SATS 9 (1):109-124.
    The latest newcomer on the epistemology scene is Subject-Sensitive Invariantism (SSI), which is the view that even though the semantics of the verb “know” is invariant, the answer to the question of whether someone knows something is sensitive to factors about that person. Factors about the context of the purported knower are relevant to whether he knows some proposition p or not. In this paper I present Jason Stanley's version of SSI, a theory Stanley calls Interest-Relative Invariantism (IRI). The core (...)
  35. Pragmatic Encroachment and Epistemically Responsible Action.Kenneth Boyd - 2016 - Synthese 193 (9).
    One prominent argument for pragmatic encroachment (PE) is that PE is entailed by a combination of a principle that states that knowledge warrants proper practical reasoning, and judgments that it is more difficult to reason well when the stakes go up. I argue here that this argument is unsuccessful. One problem is that empirical tests concerning knowledge judgments in high-stakes situations only sometimes exhibit the result predicted by PE. I argue here that those judgments that appear to support PE are (...)
  36. Contextualism, Relativism, and the Semantics of Knowledge Ascriptions.Elke Brendel - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 168 (1):101-117.
    It is argued that neither contextualism nor relativism can provide a satisfying semantics of knowledge ascriptions. According to contextualism, the truth conditions of knowledge ascriptions of the form “S knows that p” vary with the epistemic standards operative in the contexts of utterance. These epistemic standards are determined, in particular, by the speaker’s stakes with regard to p or the consideration of error-possibilities. It is shown that the absolute concept of utterance truth together with a knowledge rule of assertion lead (...)
  37. Contextualist Approaches to Epistemology: Problems and Prospects.Elke Brendel & Christoph Jäger - 2004 - Erkenntnis 61 (2-3):143 - 172.
    In this paper we survey some main arguments for and against epistemological contextualism. We distinguish and discuss various kinds of contextualism, such as attributer contextualism (the most influential version of which is semantic, conversational, or radical contextualism); indexicalism; proto-contextualism; Wittgensteinian contextualism; subject, inferential, or issue contextualism; epistemic contextualism; and virtue contextualism. Starting with a sketch of Dretske's Relevant Alternatives Theory and Nozick's Tracking Account of Knowledge, we reconstruct the history of various forms of contextualism and the ways contextualists try to (...)
  38. Contextualisms in Epistemology.Elke Brendel & Christoph Jäger (eds.) - 2004 - Springer.
    Contextualism has become one of the leading paradigms in contemporary epistemology. According to this view, there is no context-independent standard of knowledge, and as a result, all knowledge ascriptions are context-sensitive. Contextualists contend that their account of this analysis allows us to resolve some major epistemological problems such as skeptical paradoxes and the lottery paradox, and that it helps us explain various other linguistic data about knowledge ascriptions. The apparent ease with which contextualism seems to solve numerous epistemological quandaries has (...)
  39. A New Solution to the Skeptical Puzzle: An Epistemic Account of Limited Polysemy.Katherine S. Broeksmit - 2012 - Dissertation,
    In my Thesis I investigate many of the standard accounts of knowledge. I argue that epistemic fallibilism, infallibilism, and contextualism fail as viable accounts. I defend an account of knowledge according to which 'knows' is ambiguous. More specifically, I promote an account of knowledge according to which 'knows' is polysemous. This position was advanced by Rene Van Woudenberg. At the end of my thesis, I propose an adjustment to Van Woudenberg's view that will protect his account from problematic implications.
  40. Shifty Talk: Knowledge and Causation.Jessica Brown - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (2):183-199.
    In this paper, I criticise one main strategy for supporting anti-intellectualism, the view that whether a subject knows may depend on the stakes. This strategy appeals to difficulties with developing contextualist and pragmatic treatments of the shiftiness of our talk about knowledge to motivate anti-intellectualism. I criticise this strategy by drawing an analogy between debates about causation and knowledge. In each case, talk about a phenomenon is shifty and contextualist and pragmatic explanations of the shifty talk face the same objections. (...)
  41. Experimental Philosophy, Contextualism and SSI.Jessica Brown - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (2):233-261.
    I will ask the conditional question: if folk attributions of "know" are not sensitive to the stakes and/or the salience of error, does this cast doubt on contextualism or subject-sensitive invariantism (SSI)? I argue that if it should turn out that folk attributions of knowledge are insensitive to such factors, then this undermines contextualism, but not SSI. That is not to say that SSI is invulnerable to empirical work of any kind. Rather, I defend the more modest claim that leading (...)
  42. Impurism, Practical Reasoning, and the Threshold Problem.Jessica Brown - 2013 - Noûs 47 (1):179-192.
    I consider but reject one broad strategy for answering the threshold problem for fallibilist accounts of knowledge, namely what fixes the degree of probability required for one to know? According to the impurist strategy to be considered, the required degree of probability is fixed by one's practical reasoning situation. I distinguish two different ways to implement the suggested impurist strategy. According to the Relevance Approach, the threshold for a subject to know a proposition at a time is determined by the (...)
  43. Practial Reasoning, Decision Theory and Anti-Intellectualism.Jessica Brown - 2012 - Episteme 9 (1):1-20.
    In this paper, I focus on the most important form of argument for anti-intellectualism, one that exploits alleged connections between knowledge and practical reasoning. I first focus on a form of this argument which exploits a universal principle, Sufficiency, connecting knowledge and practical reasoning. In the face of putative counterexamples to Sufficiency, a number of authors have attempted to reformulate the argument with a weaker principle. However, I argue that the weaker principles suggested are also problematic. I conclude that, so (...)
  44. Knowledge and Practical Reason.Jessica Brown - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (6):1135-1152.
    It has become recently popular to suggest that knowledge is the epistemic norm of practical reasoning and that this provides an important constraint on the correct account of knowledge, one which favours subject-sensitive invariantism over contextualism and classic invariantism. I argue that there are putative counterexamples to both directions of the knowledge norm. Even if the knowledge norm can be defended against these counterexamples, I argue that it is a delicate issue whether it is true, one which relies on fine (...)
  45. Subject‐Sensitive Invariantism and the Knowledge Norm for Practical Reasoning.Jessica Brown - 2008 - Noûs 42 (2):167-189.
  46. Contextualism and Warranted Assertibility Manoeuvres.Jessica Brown - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 130 (3):407 - 435.
    Contextualists such as Cohen and DeRose claim that the truth conditions of knowledge attributions vary contextually, in particular that the strength of epistemic position required for one to be truly ascribed knowledge depends on features of the attributor's context. Contextualists support their view by appeal to our intuitions about when it's correct (or incorrect) to ascribe knowledge. Someone might argue that some of these intuitions merely reflect when it is conversationally appropriate to ascribe knowledge, not when knowledge is truly ascribed, (...)
  47. Adapt or Die: The Death of Invariantism?Jessica Brown - 2005 - Philosophical Quarterly 55 (219):263–285.
    Contextualists support their view by appeal to cases which show that whether an attribution of knowledge seems correct depends on attributor factors. Contextualists conclude that the truth-conditions of knowledge attributions depend on the attributor's context. Invariantists respond that these cases show only that the warranted assertability-conditions of knowledge attributions depend on the attributor's context. I examine DeRose's recent argument against the possibility of such an invariantist response, an argument which appeals to the knowledge account of assertion and the context-sensitivity of (...)
  48. Comparing Contextualism and Invariantism on the Correctness of Contextualist Intuitions.Jessica Brown - 2005 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 69 (1):71-100.
    Contextualism is motivated by cases in which the intuitive correctness of a range of phenomena, including knowledge attributions, assertions and reasoning, depends on the attributor's context. Contextualists offer a charitable understanding of these intuitions, interpreting them as reflecting the truth value of the knowledge attributions and the appropriateness of the relevant assertions and reasoning. Here, I investigate a range of different invariantist accounts and examine the extent to which they too can offer a charitable account of the contextualist data.
  49. Williamson on Luminosity and Contextualism.Jessica Brown - 2005 - Philosophical Quarterly 55 (219):319–327.
    According to contextualism, the truth-conditions of knowledge attributions depend on features of the attributor's context. Contextualists take their view to be supported by cases in which the intuitive correctness of knowledge attributions depends on the attributor's context. Williamson offers a complex invariantist account of such cases which appeals to two elements, psychological bias and a failure of luminosity. He provides independent reasons for thinking that contextualist cases are characterized by psychological bias and a failure of luminosity, and argues that some (...)
  50. Assertion: New Philosophical Essays.Jessica Brown & Herman Cappelen (eds.) - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
    Assertion is a fundamental feature of language. This volume will be the place to look for anyone interested in current work on the topic.
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